'Up In Smoke': Improperly Extinguished Contraband Cigarettes More Likely To Cause A Fire

Posted on Sunday, April 15, 2018 08:49 AM

A reminder from the Moncton Fire department about disposing of cigarettes correctly, as the official 'forest fire season' begins April 16th, in New Brunswick.

Moncton Fire Department Division Chief of Fire Prevention Charles LeBlanc says if they are thrown away while they are still lit, winds can keep them burning.

"Drier season [is a] much higher concern to us, and obviously as we're getting into the spring season, grass fire season is gonna start, so obviously anything improperly discarded can cause some major issues for us," says LeBlanc.

He adds human error is the main cause for forest fires in Canada, and improperly extinguished cigarettes pose a danger to both grassy areas, and neighbourhoods.

"One of our most common ones, is cigarettes that are improperly disposed in the exterior of the home," says LeBlanc. "An improperly discarded cigarette will fall between the cracks of the deck, or they'll go between the deck and the siding on your home."

He continues saying "if there's any type of wind, it can keep that cigarette lit."

LeBlanc says another factor to remember is contraband cigarettes can be a higher risk of accidental fire as compared to legally made cigarettes.

"A fire safe cigarette has a reduced propensity to burn when left unattended, the paper actually has what they call 'speed bumps'," says LeBlanc. "So when a cigarette is left unattended, when it hits one of these speed bumps it'll basically slow down and basically put out the cigarette."

In drier conditions, LeBlanc says it can take just a few seconds for a discarded cigarette to ignite a fire.